Providence Student Union


Providence students plan to demonstrate at Providence City Hall today. They’re calling for Mayor Jorge Elorza to provide bus passes for students who live two miles or more from school. Students say they must currently live two and-a-half miles from school, at minimum, in order to qualify for free bus passes.

Roselin Trinidad is a senior at Central High School, and a member of the Providence Student Union, the education advocacy group putting on the protest.

It’s that time of year again: The Red Bandana Committee seeks nominations for the Red Bandana Award, given annually to a Rhode Islander who embodies the spirit and committed work of longtime activist Richard Walton.

Youth Advocacy Groups To Hold Providence Mayoral Forum

Apr 23, 2014

Members of youth advocacy groups Providence Student Union and Young Voices will host a mayoral forum Thursday at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex on Thurber's Avenue in Providence.

The group members will press all six candidates for Mayor of Providence on multiple issues affecting young people. The issues in question will range from an increase in hands-on learning in schools to transportation policies. Kinte Howie of Young Voices says the forum will be a good way for youths to get involved in the policies that affect them.

Students plan to testify at the Providence School Board on Tuesday against a proposal to shut down Alvarez High School. The board is considering converting the South Providence building into a middle school, as the city braces for a jump in middle school enrollment.

As a high school, Alvarez has struggled with a history of low test scores and is currently undergoing a state-ordered school overhaul. Still, senior Ruth Presendieu says closing it down would damage the one thing the small school has going for it, a strong sense of community.

The Rhode Island Board of Education has voted not to take up a state policy tying test scores to a high school diploma. In a 6-5 vote, the board ruled against a petition critical of the rule, which takes effect for the current senior class. The policy requires students to achieve a score of at least partially proficient on standardized state testing or improve on a retake to earn a diploma.

Members of the student advocacy group Providence Student Union have issued an apology to Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist for making comments about her reputation. The students said they regretted the tone of a press release that said they planned to mourn the “expected ‘death’ of Commissioner Gist’s reputation.”

The comments came after Gist refused the group’s invitation of a public debate about the state’s use of standardized test scores. The Providence Student Union called it a mistake to make the issue personal.

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist urged lawmakers to pass a series of bills aimed at improving school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during her State of Education speech on Tuesday. She also urged passage of the governor’s budget which increases funding for public schools, colleges and universities.

Most Adults Fail the Mock NECAP Test

Mar 20, 2013
School bus
courtesy First Student Company

NECAP, the standardized test that’s become a requirement for high school graduation in Rhode Island, may be harder than most people think. A majority of adults who took a portion of the math test last weekend failed to make the grade.

Members of the Providence Student Union
courtesy of

Students protest high stakes testing in Rhode Island and Providence puts a history teacher in a physics classroom. These are some of the most heated controversies recently on the education beat. But there’s a little known force behind both of these stories. It’s a student group called the Providence Student Union. Co-founder Aaron Regunberg is a recent Brown graduate. Elisabeth Harrison asked him how he became an activist in the public schools.

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State education officials are defending standardized testing as a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2014. Students opposing so-called "high stakes testing" staged a protest yesterday at the Statehouse.

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist responded by saying her goal is to make sure students finish high school with the right skills for college or a career. If the testing rule took effect this year, 44 percent of seniors would be at risk for not graduating.

A group calling itself the Providence Student Union will ask for an end to high stakes testing this week. Starting with the class of 2014, Rhode Island students will not be allowed to graduate unless they get a score of "partially procficent" on the standardized test known as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).

A coalition of students, teachers, parents and community leaders will come together Wednesday to ask Governor Lincoln Chafee to end high stakes testing.